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With much to protect, little armies may be vital

Strange as it may seem, I think the great state of Nebraska (which I sometimes ridicule because it all looks pretty much the same) and a former Hernando County commissioner might have inadvertently come up with an idea that could liven things up around here.

Conservative libertarian humorist P.J. O'Rourke, one of my favorite writers, candidly admits to what most of us try to hide. He has what he calls MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) stories.

It's a sticky issue because things that make my eyes, or O'Rourke's or any other writer's eyes glaze over tend to make the eyes of people close to those issues glow, fervently, sometimes a little madly, and they don't like hearing that you are tired of hearing about their favorite issue.


Stories about infighting in youth sports organizations, citizens groups that give themselves catchy acronyms as names (even catchier than MEGO) and then still don't do anything, tales of internecine struggles between governmental entities, and, for me, any story with the word Swiftmud (Southwest Florida Water Management District, site of more boring meetings than any other governmental entity in the universe except possibly the U.S. House of Representatives) all of them, make MEGO.

Most of the tendency to zone out on some types of stories is that they are built around the constant multiworded assaults (which turn multisyllabic if lawyers get involved) that go on for hours and days and weeks and really don't accomplish much.

Folks where I live have been looking south and mumbling at Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and looking northeast and muttering at Swiftmud for so long that it has become a tradition.

Folks around here also spend equal amounts of time complaining about growth, the influx of outsiders and the inability of the infrastructure to keep up _ and subdividing their property and selling it to outsiders while only supporting political candidates who promise not to raise taxes to pay for the infrastructure.

That we now come closer to unity in being able to stand together and shake our fists at Tallahassee doesn't really change things that much.

But then I learned that Nebraska has a navy.

And I remembered that Ray Lossing, when he was a Hernando County commissioner, actually talked about forming a county militia to protect the county's water supply.

And I thought, why not?

Not only is landlocked Nebraska's 72-year-old Great Navy of the State of Nebraska a force to be reckoned with, but it shares with local government (especially Swiftmud) a penchant for top-heavy administration.

It has more than 100,000 admirals, which would make it the envy of most school districts, and no boats, keeping maintenance and fuel costs at a minimal level.

It's sort of like the Kentucky Colonel Thing, or the Confederate Air Force _ just for yuks and PR fodder. But people hereabouts have been looking for clean, light industry and for something for the kids to do, and maybe forming our own military-industrial complex would help.

With its long runway airport and excellent parachute training facilities, Zephyrhills could field its own SEALS (Sea, Air, Land, Shuffleboard) Teams, and there are enough overflowing retention ponds in Lecanto, alone, to float a navy.

Irregular forces would also get attention, with Crystal River and Port Richey alone having enough crazed anti-government fanatics to conduct guerrilla operations looking for building records in garbage cans and conducting surveillance on each other.

Istachatta has made it clear that it will resist attempts by outsiders to settle on its land, and natives there are already threatening to take the law into their own hands.

I thought Ray Lossing was crazy when he came up with that whole Hernando militia thing.

Maybe he's just a visionary.